Vampires, they’re all the rage! Whether they’re teens waiting for marriage and sparkling in the sunlight or synthetic-blood swilling sexpots, everyone seems to love’em these days. Everyone except perhaps for the author of the Sookie Stackhouse books, the ones adapted to become the HBO series True Blood. See, she’s trying to end the series at 13 books, but her fans are still hungry for more, and are demanding she stay the course.
Charlaine Harris is no vampire, however, and at 61, the Wall Street Journal says she can’t keep going forever. Especially when she’s been sucked dry at having to weave together science fiction, crime, romance, fantasy, sexiness, werewolfiness, and all the other genres that get thrown together in the series.
From the WSJ‘s very interesting, detailed look at what it’s like to be such a loved author:
She ran out of fresh story lines about her bubbly blond protagonist, Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress who tangles with an ever-expanding supernatural cast of vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, demons, goblins, elves, witches and fairies. She struggled to keep track of the convoluted mythology she’d invented. Things that used to excite her, like unveiling new supernatural creatures, started to feel stale.
That’s why she announced next week’s Dead Ever After would be her last in the Sookie series. Cue the maddened cries of her fans, who are protesting, campaigning, and otherwise doing everything they can to keep her on task forever and ever and oh god, don’t take her (and Eric) away from us.
Thousands of readers have written her and begged, while others have resorted to taunting her online and saying she’ll regret killing the series. The WSJ says one fan even reportedly threatened to commit suicide if the ending isn’t up to snuff. No pressure, basically.
“I’m very fortunate that people are so invested in the series,” Harris told the WSJ. “At the same time, it can be a source of some anxiety to get emails that say, ‘If Sookie doesn’t end up with Eric, I’m going to kill myself.’ “
In order to end things, to really create a separation, Harris isn’t touring to promote her book, lest she face the ire of disappointed readers, some of whom think she should just take a few years off, then come back when she’s feeling rested and ready to put Sookie in yet another tight white Merlotte’s T-shirt. Others are upset at how the book ends (after someone leaked the ending on the Internet) and have even sent her death threats.
Harris herself admits that she forgets story lines or specifics from past books, and even had to hire a hard-core fan to help her spot inconsistencies. As such, it’s time to finish this thing for good. And for the love of all things decent, people, lay off the death threats.
How to Kill a Vampire (Series) [Wall Street Journal]